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gram·ma·ry /ˈɡramərē/

noun: A blog of thoughts, news, and everything insightful! #Hello1HP

Fiction beyond Form and Familiarity: Mark Danielewski

Jul 18, 2019

Signiconic or visual writing is a modern literature genre that transcends typical writing form, with the author exploring different typefaces, page layouts, and even font colors to convey the simplest or most complicated of stories. With the use of signiconic writing to create metanarratives that shock, astound, and even horrify readers, Mark Danielewski is known as the author who made a name for himself and defied the boundaries of modern surrealist fiction. Danielewski was born on March 5, 1966, in New York City. His father, Tad, was a Polish avant-garde film director, while his younger sister, Annie, would become the singer-songwriter known as Poe in the mid-nineties. During D......

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The Working-Class Writer: John Steinbeck

Jul 11, 2019

  Abruptly following the overindulgent era of the Roaring Twenties, the United States experienced the harshest of economic downturns, and its citizens soon felt the humbling blow of the Great Depression. As a laborer-turned-writer, John Steinbeck perfectly captured the diminished spirit of the American working class through his sobering stories of survival, camaraderie, and hope in the midst of poverty.   Steinbeck was born on February 2, 1902, in Salinas, California. His father worked several jobs to support his family, mainly as a flour mill manager, while his mother was a schoolteacher. Young Steinbeck and his two elder sisters enjoyed reading, fast becoming avid fa......

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The Glitz and Gamble of the Jazz Age: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Jul 04, 2019

For nearly a century, he has been renowned for his colorful works of fiction, his celebrity presence in the Roaring Twenties, his indulgent lifestyle, and, of course, his creation of the “Great American Novel." No other American author truly embodies the fancies and follies of the Jazz Age than Francis Scott Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was born on September 24, 1896, in St. Paul, Minnesota, to Catholic parents—an aristocrat father and a provincial mother. He was named after a distant relative on his father’s side, Francis Scott Key, the lyricist of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Fitzgerald attended St. Paul Academy and, at the age of 13, published his first piece of fiction, a short detec......

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Sarah Kane: A Candid and Daring Playwright

Jun 13, 2019

The year is 1995. The Royal Court Theatre in London is all set up for a production written by a debuting playwright. The British audiences, always excited to see grand productions from their favorite theaters, have just settled in their seats. Lights are turned off, and the curtains finally open. No one in the theater knows exactly what to expect, but apparently, Blasted by Sarah Kane is not what they’re prepared for. A series of physical violence, sexual harassment—and even cannibalism—Blasted is a play that presented sex and war in its most raw and most natural form. It was described by the British press as “disgusting,” “scandalizing,” and “nightmarish,” but that didn’t stop Sa......

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The Scribe of Stage and Screen: Tom Stoppard

Jun 07, 2019

“We are tied down to a language which makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style,” so says the Player in Tom Stoppard’s renowned play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Uninhibited by circumstance and convention, Stoppard, an immigrant playwright, breaks free from this line as he pens well-reputed works that showcase not only his mastery of the English language but also his eccentric manipulation of both fiction and canon to create timeless narratives for both the stage and the screen. Stoppard was born Tomáš Straussler in 1937 in Zlín, Czechoslovakia, where he and his Jewish family experienced the ravages of World War II, during which all four of his grandparents perished i......

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Wartime and Wilderness in the West: Ernest Hemingway

May 16, 2019

As a man disillusioned by the ravages of war and lost love, Ernest Hemingway penned male-centric fictional works that spoke brusquely of the unpredictable American psyche and, as a result, has been considered a notable trailblazer in 20th-century naturalist literature in the United States. Born on July 21, 1899, in Cicero, Illinois, Hemingway was raised conservatively in the suburbs yet enjoyed frequent vacations with his family at their cabin in Northern Michigan, where he became skilled in such outdoor activities as hunting and fishing. In high school, Hemingway was highly active as a writer in the school newspaper, Trapeze and Tabula, and his early experience as a journalist ca......

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The One Who Writes and Dreams: Laini Taylor

May 09, 2019

Laini Taylor spins tales of strange lands, forbidden romances, and hope as the everlasting game changer for young adult readers. As a recent favorite in the genre of YA literature, she lives the fantasy she creates for her audience, whether young or old, and has fun doing it. Taylor was born on December 11, 1971, in Chico, California. She is a self-proclaimed “navy brat,” having moved along with her family during her childhood to several states and countries, such as Hawaii, Virginia, California, Italy, and Belgium. She graduated from Fountain Valley High School in Orange County in 1989 and from UC Berkeley in 1994 with an English degree. She also took three semesters at the Calif......

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From Behind a Mask: Jacqueline Carey

May 02, 2019

With themes ranging from celestial origins to court intrigue, Jacqueline Carey’s stories of high fancy and historical fantasy would bedazzle any reader and leave them wanting for more. She is adept at weaving worlds tinged with romance, religion, espionage, and war, as well as creating strong yet tormented characters who defy their own fates. Carey was born on October 9, 1964, in Highland Park, Illinois. She graduated from Lake Forest College in 1986 with BA degrees in psychology and English literature. Her love for writing fiction began when she spent six months working at a London bookstore during her college years. When she returned to the United States, she started her writin......

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